Who are the closest relatives?

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عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ قَالَ لَمَّا نَزَلَتِ الْآيَةُ قُلْ لا اَسْئَلُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ اَجْراً اِلَّا الْمَوَدَّةَ فِي الْقُرْبى‏ قُلْتُ يَا رَسُولَ اللّهِ مَنْ قَرَابَتُكَ الَّذِينَ افْتَرَضَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا مَوَدَّتَهُمْ قَالَ عَلِيٌّ وَ فَاطِمَةُ وَ وُلْدُهُمَا ثَلَاثَ مَرَّاتٍ يَقُولُهَا

Ibn Abbas reports, “When the verse ‘Say: I don’t ask you any reward for it except the love of my closest relatives’ was revealed, I asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who are your closest relatives those love Allah has made obligatory upon us?’ He (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) replied, ‘Ali, Fatima and their children.’ He (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) repeated this statement thrice.”


The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his holy progeny) emphasized the point by repeating the statement thrice.

If the beloved is not infallible, he may be a transgressor, sinner or even unbeliever. Hence, it is important and necessary that they should be infallible. The general leaders of the world (apparently Muslims) are sinners and transgressors and in some cases, not even Muslims. Allah says in the Holy Quran ‘Whoever does not judge with whatever Allah has revealed he is a disbeliever.’

Even if a person is just in its jurisprudential application, it is not necessary that he is always keeping away from sins. How can Allah order to obey and love such a person who may sometimes commit sins?


1.    Behaar al-Anwaar, vol. 23, p. 241, H. 12

2.    Tafseer Furaat Ibn Ibrahim under the verse

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